Here in Colorado we have wildfires burning all over the state. Last count I heard, there are 12 (count’em, TWELVE!) raging on. There’s a lot of beetle kill on the mountains surrounding Ouray, where we live, and our land adjoins the actual forest. The entire town of Ouray happens to be inside the Uncompaghre National Forest, so as you can imagine, times are a little bit scary right now. The closest fire to us is 13 miles east of Ridgway, which is ten miles north of Ouray. But someone involved in Emergency Management mentioned that there’s a good sized mountain in between the West Fork fire and the town of Ridgway, even though it’s close as the crow flies. That was actually good to hear. There’s also a horrible fire raging about 70 miles south, which is up and over the mountains and the Continental Divide from here.
In the winter, people tell me how much they would hate all of our snow, but we love it and would certainly trade for it today or even welcome the annual monsoon rains. You couldn’t possibly live in Colorado, if you didn’t love the snow. And at this point in time, I’m thinking that after 32 years, we have truly become winter people here in these gorgeous mountains. Life is a little quieter and slower in the winter, but it’s also very beautiful and nobody lingers indoors. We’re out there enjoying winter sports or just tending to life as it normally is here when it snows. Nothing is prettier than Colorado at Christmas.
This year, things are especially thick and lush and we are going to have to do some fire mitigation, just to be on the safe side. I hate to cut down such beautiful trees and shrubs, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. It appears that no matter where you live, there is some natural disaster that you have to contend with, so it’s difficult to choose one over the other when it comes right down to it. It’s all God’s country and it’s all beautiful in its own way.